Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Release 4/30/13 - LL Cool J

by +Brad Naylor

This week our favorite new release is LL Cool J - Authentic and is available on April 30th.

Authentic is the 13th studio release from the 45 year old rapper who is known to his mother as James Todd Smith. LL released his first album 28 years ago, which is before most modern rappers were even born. He is also a respected actor, having been in a few movies and the hit TV series NCIS: Los Angeles. This disc is not going to hit the mainstream number one slot, but will feature strongly on the "rap that my grandpa used to listen to" chart.

1. Bath Salt - "It's LL season, let's rock". Thanks for the warning. This has nothing to do with with bath salt zombies eating faces in Miami. At least I don't think it is. I'm not quite sure what it's about, but it wouldn't sound out of place in a Fast and/or Furious movie soundtrack.

2. Not Leaving You Tonight (feat. Fitz and The Tantrums with Eddie Van Halen) - LL uses a bunch of metaphors to join Fitz's choruses together. Oh and EVH plays his Wangcaster on this track.

3. New Love (feat. Charlie Wilson) - Charlie Wilson was the lead singer of the Gap Band and is even older than LL. He bounces the "Nothing Like A New Love" chorus like a lowrider all over this track.

4. We Came To Party (feat. Snoop Dogg and Fatman Scoop - This is going to be one hell of a party with Snoop Dogg (now called Snoop Lion thanks to the Rastafarian culture) and Fatman Scoop. Snoop brought the weed and Fatman brought the repetitive growling "Ohhh" sound.

5. Give Me Love (feat. Seal) - Minor chord electric piano gives this track a somber edge which makes me think of having a lot of hot sex with a really hot supermodel, and then she leaves and she shacks up with a bodyguard and has lots of hot sex with him instead...

6. Something About You (Love The World)(feat. Earth, Wind & Fire, Charlie Wilson and Melody Thornton - This is a more up tempo, slightly poppier track featuring pussycat doll, Melody Thornton, with a definitive 70's feel thanks to EW&F and Uncle Charlie.

7. Bartender Please (feat. Snoop Dogg, Bootsy Collins & Travis Barker) - Travis Barker adds drums and percussion to this Snoop & LL fest. Meanwhile, Bootsy Collins jumps straight out of the 70's and lands unexpectedly in the mix as an Accidental Bassist.

8. Whaddup (feat. Chuck D, Travis Barker, Tom Morello & Z-Trip) -  Bring the noise... with Chuck D, Tom Morello, and Travis Barker banging the skins. That is a recipe for a rap/rock hybrid and this track sure doesn't disappoint. It reminds me of a diluted 'Bring the Noise' by Public Enemy and Anthrax.

9. Between The Sheetz (feat. Mickey Shiloh) - This is the slow song. LL and Mickey tell us all about what is going on between the sheetz, including pouring bubbly into a belly button. Messy.

10. Closer (feat. Monica) - Yeah. I'm kind of getting bored now, although this is why Ladies Love Cool James. (LL Cool J, get it?)

11. Live For You (feat. Brad Paisley) - Average rap track supposedly featuring Brad Paisley. I didn't spot his input, unless he was doing the On-U-Sound "Ahh Yeah".

12. We're The Greatest (feat. Eddie Van Halen) - More fretboard fornication from EVH over a pounding drum track with a side order of LL. Possibly satire, possibly irony in the title.

Brad's standout track(s) - 8. Whaddup. Only because it reminds me of when I was young and was torn between rap and rock. Then Run DMC and Aerosmith happened and I didn't have to choose. Then came the Beastie Boys and eventually Pop Will Eat Itself and all was well with the world.

Buy it and make up your own mind and then let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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